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Published: Tuesday, 7/19/2005

Homemaker tackled wide variety of jobs

FOSTORIA - Elma M. Johnson-Horner, who owned part of an insurance company and worked for a photo studio, ketchup factory, and a spark plug plant, died Saturday at Independence House. She was 84.

Mrs. Johnson-Horner died of old age, her daughter, Janet Thallman, said.

She was a very active person, her daughter said. She was constantly doing something around the house or, if the need arose, take on a job for a year or two when her family or her country needed her.

During World War II she worked for the Ford Auto-Lite plant in Fostoria making spark plugs. In the mid-1950s she worked at a Bloomdale, Ohio, ketchup factory.

From 1960 to 1961 she printed photographs and painted prints for Dicken and Wonders Studio in Fostoria.

She was generally a homemaker, but worked outside of the home when the family's financial status required it, Mrs. Thallman said.

She also worked at the Thallman and Johnson Insurance Company in the late 1980s. She owned the company with her first husband, Donald Johnson, and then, after his death, with Mrs. Thallman. Mrs. Johnson-Horner was the secretary for 2 1/2 years for Mrs. Thallman.

At home she had a great sense of humor, a brilliant turkey gobble impression, and shared many jokes with her grandchildren.

They used to call her "Granny Grunt," a name based on a song she and her grandchildren came up with, Mrs. Thallman said.

She was also a great cook who made cookies and German chocolate cake.

Mrs. Johnson-Horner's kitchen and hospitality won the affection of her neighbors and sons-in-law, Kristine Larson, her daughter, said.

Surviving are her husband, Foster Horner, daughters Kristine Larson and Janet Thallman and stepdaughters Judy Ann Keller and Kay Hayfield.

Visitation will begin at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Harrold-Floriana Funeral Home in Fostoria. Services, conducted by the Rev. Jeffrey L. Waite, will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at High Street United Methodist Church.

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